Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Day 7 of BPT – All those in favor of Bread say ‘Aye!’ AYE!

Tonight marked another night of bread and you’ll no complaints from me. We made our Italian Batards (2 loaves), Brioche loaf, Brioche a Tete and Stickybuns.

Stickybuns…think Homer Simpson…now say it…AaaaahHhhhh Stickybuns (with a bit of drool on the corner of your mouth.) That’s the affect these things have. Your mouth starts drooling long before you make the caramel or the brown sugar cinnamon butter. Even now I’m very close to shorting out my keyboard. I know that when I tell folks of stickybuns they instantly think of the place in the mall that sells those big fluffy cinnamon buns with the cream cheese icing. These are not the same. These are very, well, sticky and have a caramel topping. We did some with pecans and others with no nuts.

My Brioche loaf came out very good but my a Tete had a slight mishap. An a Tete is baked in what looks to be a large fluted muffin pan. It holds about one pound of dough. You then make a small mound on the top like a knob with about 2 ounces of the dough. Well mine was going great and rising just fine, then it went into the oven…ah the smell was fantastic; time to pull it out and check it. Um… Houston we have a situation. My knob has risen and cooked up and in between 2 of the bars on the rack above it. Sadly enough it must be sacrificed.

The Italian Batards were very different. You start with ‘biga’ (pronounced bee-ga)which is a starter for your dough and it’s made the day before. In the traditional way the bread for the new day was started with a bit of the unsalted starter taken from yesterday’s bread making. No new dry or cake yeast is added, just a cup or so of the biga. So you take this starter and add it to flour, water and butter and get it well incorporated and let it to the rise thing. It’s a very rustic bread and I think the perfect match to a beef stew. Well at least today it is since that’s what I’m having with it for lunch.

Baking bread is just a fun experience. As I’ve said before you really must give it a try!

Tomorrow I’m working at the school for the “Day in a Life” session. This is where potential new students get to come for the day and experience a cooking session. I’m looking forward to it. I remember mine very well.

Until Tomorrow!...


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